For our last day on the road this year, we chose to visit The Confederate President’s House in Richmond, Virginia.
Jefferson Davis and his family moved here when the Capitol of the Confederacy was changed from Montgomery, Alabama on May 8, 1861. They lived here until fleeing from Grant’s Army on April 2, 1865.
On display was the coat and vest he was wearing when captured on May 10, 1865.
One of the great things about riding around the Country in the Sphinx, is that you can avoid the cold weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires.
Unfortunately, sometimes those items catch up with you. This morning we are staying at Americamps RV Resort in Virginia, on our way back to Maryland, and it snowed. It looks great in the morning trees.
However, we are under a 50ft. pine tree, and as the sun hits the snow on the tree, it comes crashing down on us. Sounds like we are under bombardment. Fortunately it is soft snow, and no damage done.
On our way home, again. We are staying at the same RV Park in Ashland, Virginia, that we stayed at twice before. It serves waffle breakfast included each day, and dinner on Thursday night. Tonight, being Thursday, was tacos.
We will stay here, in the Richmond, Virginia, area for 6 days. Since it is expected to be sleeting and snowing for the next few days, we might just spend time relaxing in the Sphinx.
Fort Mill, South Carolina to Ashland, Virginia: 333.6 miles
6 hours 20 minutes
Although the town of Fort Mill was not incorporated until 1873, after the Civil War, it has a rich history, including the site of the last Cabinet Meeting of the Confederate States of America.
The town of Fort Mill, originally called Little York, takes its name from a colonial-era fort built by the British. Thomas Spratt was the first European to settle here around 1750.
Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Cabinet passed through the area during their flight from Richmond. The last meeting of the full Confederate Cabinet was held in Fort Mill on April 29, 1865.
Fort Mill’s Confederate Park, a tribute to the Southern Cause, contains the nation’s only monument to slaves fighting on the Confederate side of the War of Northern Aggression.
The park is funded by private citizens, and therefore the Government cannot take down the monuments, like in New Orleans.
Although, to my dismay, there were no confederate flags flying, they still have a street called Confederate St.
Tidbit of Information: In the 1980s, Fort Mill was the home to TV evangelist Jim Bakker’s now defunct Heritage USA.
Atlanta, Georgia to Fort Mill, South Carolina: 237.9 miles
5 hours and 4 minutes
We are back in Atlanta, Georgia (see day 259) to visit with relatives. They wanted to view the Christmas displays at Callanwolde.
The estate was built in 1920 by Charles Howard Chandler, the son of Asa Chandler, who established the Coca-Cola company, after buying the patent from John C. Pemberton, the inventor. Charles succeeded his father as president of Coca-Cola from 1916 to 1923. He died in 1957, and the estate went through many owners.
In 1971 the dilapidated house and estate was taken over by The Callanwolde Foundation. Rather preserve and restore the house to the way it looked in the 20’s, they used the house to promote the cultural arts. Each room was dedicated to a different genre. They did have the invisible man playing the piano as you walked into the foyer.
It was ok, if you are into that sort of thing, but I don’t think it was worth the price of admission. And Mr. Chandler doesn’t look happy as how his house turned out.
The Chandler ancestry goes back to the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The name “Callanwolde” is based on this family connection to the Irish town of Callan and the Old English word for “woods” (“wolde”)
Technical Stuff: Montgomery, Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia: 203.7 miles
4 hours and 4 minutes
At the conclusion of the Creek War of 1814, much of the land that would become Alabama came under American control, 21 million acres. In 1817, Congress established the Alabama Territory and designated the town of St. Stephens as the capital.
The Towns of New Philadelphia and East Alabama Town merged on December 3, 1819, and were incorporated as the town of Montgomery. Montgomery, Alabama was named for Richard Montgomery, born December 2, 1738, a brigadier general in the Continental Army.
Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819, and Montgomery became the State Capital on January 28, 1846
Beginning February 4, 1861, representatives from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina met in Montgomery to host the Southern Convention, which ultimately formed the Confederate States of America. Montgomery was named the first capital of the nation, and Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President on the steps of the State Capitol building on February 18, 1861.
We were given a private tour of the Capital Building, in which we saw the Senate Chamber, were the Confederate States of America was born
and the house chamber, where President Davis met with his cabinet.
I think that was his spittoon.
When you feel inside, there’s still some spit in there.
The walls and ceilings inside the Capital Building are completely flat, but painted to look 3D. My wife says it is called “Trompe-l’œil”.
And they have a very neat spiral staircase that goes up 3 stories.
Jefferson Davis and his family resided here
in what is now called the First White House of the Confederacy. Actually, when he was living there it was not called that. In fact, the White House in Washington wasn’t named that until President Theodore Roosevelt established the formal name in 1901, well after the Civil War.
Davis lived here for a short time, as the Capital of the Confederacy was moved to Richmond Virginia on May 8, 1861. The house was built in 1835 by William Sayre, and at the time of the War of Northern Aggression was owned by Col. Edmond Harrison, a cotton planter. He leased the house to the Confederacy for use as a residence of the Davis family.